Monday, July 22, 2013

(HERALD ZW) Zanu-PF in grand launch
Saturday, 06 July 2013 01:26
Herald Reporters

HUNDREDS of thousands of Zanu-PF supporters converged at the historic Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare, yesterday for the launch of the revolutionary party’s manifesto and 2013 election campaign. The highly-subscribed star rally, that turned the hallowed grounds into a sea of yellow and green, was reminiscent of President Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua

Nkomo’s triumphant return to Zimbabwe from Mozambique and Zambia in January 1980 where they had successfully led Zanla and Zipra guerillas to victory over the Smith regime.

The colourful launch which just like the party’s campaign ran under the theme “Taking Back The Economy: Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment’’ set the stage for what is set to be an intense three-week campaign tailored to culminate in a resounding victory for Zanu-PF.

All the party’s parliamentary candidates were introduced to supporters with the Presidium shaking hands with each of them.
The Zanu-PF candidates for the elections are dubbed Team Zanu-PF and have the brief of slamming the ball into the back of the net in every constituency countrywide.

The revolutionary party has since got a head start on other contestants, bagging 26 council wards unopposed countrywide.
Before the arrival of the President, a number of groups provided entertainment to the crowd in the morning among them Mbare Chimurenga Choir, Vabvuwi, Jah Prayzah, the

Born Free Crew, Mathias Mhere, Sebastian Magacha and Suluman Chimbetu.
In his address, President Mugabe rallied the party’s candidates to victory saying “Go ye and win the battle’’, which he equated to “a battle of our lives”.

“We have just congratulated our candidates for the elections. I say that because you are looking forward. It’s you again whom we are saying you are leaders in the elections [Part of the crowd that attended Zanu PF manifesto] that we will have.

“We will only be your supporters, but we will be assisting so that we are elected and elected resoundingly. We are here not only to congratulate, we are also here to send you on a mission, to give you top authority of the party to represent it in the election and to enable you to conquer.

“You are our soldiers; you have a battle to fight. Go into battle well armed with full knowledge that there is a political enemy. This is a do-or-die struggle. You are not alone because your victory will be our victory and your defeat, alas, will be our defeat. We want you to succeed.”

The President described Highfield as a historic suburb where many pioneer nationalists such as Cdes Enos Nkala, George Silundika, Joshua Nkomo and Josiah Chinamano, lived.

Early nationalist parties like the National Democratic Party and later Zapu and Zanu-PF were formed in Highfield.
Therefore, he said the suburb was the cradle of the liberation struggle.

“That is here where we returned after the struggle. Dr Nkomo returned first and he came to Highfield first. I followed. So Highfield is a politically sacred place. It is the cradle of our political struggle but now Highfield, Highfield, Highfield, I cry, where are you?

“We have come here to regain what we have lost along the way, including Highfield, to correct an error, a huge political error.
“We failed in 2008 and so we decided that in this sacred place we should bring our entire team (of candidates) which shall lead in a fight to conquer. We are not talking about defeat, but victory,” he said.

He added that this time, Zanu-PF must secure a massive victory of up to 90 percent majority in Parliament and an equally decisive vote in the presidential race as well.
“Will it be just 51 upon 100?” he asked. “Fifty one percent, 60 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent or will it be upon, upon in every constituency.

“Let us expect that we lose one or two men who have fallen as soldiers in a fight but we shall be able to say that our victory was not less than 90 percent. Tell the rest of the country that you have seen the soldiers that we put together. We have shaken their hands and we have strengthened them as fighters on our behalf.

“Go ye, fight the battle and come back and tell us that you have won. Go ye meet the people, talk to the people, because you came from people, you were elected.
“Go back to them and join forces in going to the national battle. It’s a battle for survival and all of us should support them. We shall work together and make the pledge that we of Zanu-PF do not know defeat. We, yes, suffer losses, losses of individuals here and there, a setback but we are able to re-organise and come back invigorated and wage a real, real, vigorous, devastating battle and this one should be a fight of our lives.”

He reiterated that Zanu-PF should get a decisive victory to negate another inclusive Government with parties that work with Zimbabwe’s former colonial master, Britain.
“Never shall Zanu-PF allow such parties to taste government again. You saw that the inclusive Government that gave us a three-headed creature. Some were refusing to let go, ahh, clinging to it, but we said let’s go and seek a new mandate; democracy demands that we do.”

The President launched the 108-page manifesto, which details the party’s five-year plan of action for the party if it secures victory in the forthcoming elections.
The document, the President said, focused on the land reform programme, indigenisation and economic empowerment, job creation, promotion of social services and industrial development, among other sectors.

Small and medium-scale enterprise development, he said, was also an integral part of the manifesto, imploring the SMEs to grow bigger and venture into mining on a large scale.

He acknowledged that the economic hardships caused by the illegal economic sanctions had made life difficult for people including job losses but commended their perseverance and calm in the face of the challenges induced by the sanctions.

According to the manifesto, Zanu-PF would focus on consolidating and deepening “independence, sovereignty, unity, security, respect for the values and ideals of the liberation struggle, patriotism, gender equality, respect for the elderly, economic prosperity, achievement, equality, peace, freedom and democracy, non-violence, tolerance, stability, the youth as the future, employment, housing for all, respect for persons with disabilities, development and freedom of worship.”

It says the revolutionary party has indigenised 12 million hectares of land. It would also seek to create a value of $7, 3 billion from the indigenisation of 1 138 companies across 14 key sectors of the economy.

“These initiatives will create 2, 265 million jobs across key sectors of the economy and contribute to export earnings, food security and to the fiscus among many other benefits including urban housing, and construction of peri-urban farms acquired during the land reform exercise. In addition, Zanu-PF’s indigenisation and empowerment initiatives outlines in this people’s manifesto will see an average GDP growth rate of nine percent by 2018 up from the current 4, 4 percent.”

Beneficiaries of the projects would include both rural and urban communities, war veterans, women, youths, workers, academic ordinary workers and others.
Zanu-PF also plans to reduce the urban housing backlog, address corruption, give bankable leasehold security of tenure to beneficiaries of the land reform programme, ensure food security and engage Britain, European Union and the US to unconditionally lift their illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Giving her vote of thanks, Vice President Joice Mujuru castigated claims by Western countries that Zanu-PF was undemocratic saying it was the likes of President Mugabe and other nationalists that taught the white settler government democracy.

“The West cannot claim to teach us democracy actually it is you, Your Excellency, and others like the late VP (Joshua) Nkomo, the late Jason Moyo and other revolutionary that taught the likes of Ian Smith democracy,” she said.

She said the inclusive Government had retarded development in the country due to the bickering over policy differences on the three parties.
VP Mujuru also apologised to President Mugabe for the party’s poor showing in 2008 and vowed that it would not be repeated this time around.

“Your Excellency, I want to say we are really sorry for our shortcomings and we promise that we will start working from today and we will make sure that we won’t repeat the same mistake this time,” she said.

The Vice President said the decision by the Constitutional Court to have elections on July 31 was welcome but made it clear that the judges had not been influenced by anyone into reaching that decision.

“Our judges are independent and were not told by anyone what to do. Their judgment yesterday (Wednesday) showed that they understand the values of the country and that Zimbabwe respects its laws,” she said.

In his address, Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the launch of the campaign and manifesto yesterday was historic.
“This is a historic occasion indeed marking the mother of all launches since the attainment of our hard won independence in 1980,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Grounds were the first port of call for the nationalist leaders the late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo and President Mugabe to address rallies when they returned to Zimbabwe from Zambia and Mozambique after the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement that brought the country’s independence.

Cde Khaya Moyo also called for unity and urged party cadres that lost in the primaries to rally behind the winning candidates as a team.

“We remain one family the Zanu-PF family solid and united. There are no loser in Zanu-PF elections there are only competitors. In any competition some remain behind so let us rally behind our candidates,” he said.

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